The title of Seneschal in medieval times was given to an officer having full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies and the administration of justice in a noble or royal household.
In 1566, my maternal Great x 12 Grandfather, the Rt. Hon. Francis Agard was appointed Seneschal of the OByrnes and the OTooles. Agard had a deep respect for the Irish Chiefs but unfortunately this was not shared by his son-in-law Sir Henry Harrington who inherited the title and position after Agard’s death in 1577.
Because of this unique history I have decided to replace the title of “President” of Finte OBroin with “Seneschal” of Finte OBroin and in doing so hope to preserve this element of my ancestry that provides a unique link to the history of Clan OBryne from both sides of my family.
In recent years, I have lobbied the Office of the Chief Herald to encourage people who are actively involved in maintaining their clan history to adopt the designation “Guardian” rather than “Chief” of the name which I think is more appropriate in a modern Ireland and does away with the nuisance of people claiming bogus titles. As a direct descendant of the last Chief of the OByrnes of Downes, I have used this designation myself to indicate that I am the person who my family have made responsible for the maintenance and promotion of our family history.
However, perhaps Seneschal would also be a suitable designation to use by those who are responsible, like me, for the administration and organisation of clan events?
As active clan societies, I believe we should maintain our history, traditions and customs. History is a living breathing thing, something we learn from and carry with us in the present and into the future.
Therefore, I am proud to announce that I will be using the designation, Seneschal of Clan OByrne from here on in relation to my work for Finte OBroin and it will be used by those who follow me as administrators and keepers of our great clan history.
Certavi et Vici,